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A Better Way of Scrubbing CO2

Manganese-based MOF

Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a means by which the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants might one day be done far more efficiently and at far lower costs than today. By appending a diamine molecule to the sponge-like solid materials known as metal-organic-frameworks (MOFs), the researchers were able to more than triple the CO2-scrubbing capacity of the MOFs, while significantly reducing parasitic energy.

Biofuel Proteomics: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Use Proteomics to Profile Switchgrass

Switchgrass is a North American native prairie grass widely viewed as one of the most promising of all the biofuel crop candidates. (Photo courtesy of GLBRC)

JBEI researchers used advanced proteomic techniques to identify 1,750 unique proteins in shoots of switchgrass, a native prairie grass viewed as one of the most promising of all the plants that could be used to produce advanced biofuels.

Metabolic Path to Improved Biofuel Production

Jamie Cate feature 1

Researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute have found a way to increase the production of fuels and other chemicals from biomass fermented by yeast without the need of environmentally harsh pre-treatments or expensive enzyme cocktails.

Better Batteries from Berkeley Lab’s Work with Industry

Berkeley Lab battery scientist Marca Doeff, in the lab with scanning electron microscope. (Photo by Kelly Owen/Berkeley Lab)

Until recently, it was often difficult for private industry to take advantage of Berkeley Lab’s resources. That has changed with CalCharge, a unique public-private partnership uniting the California Bay Area’s emerging and established battery technology companies with critical academic and government resources.

New Battery Startup Promises Safe Lithium Batteries

Two of Blue Current's three co-founders, Nitash Balsara (left) and Alex Teran. (Photo courtesy Blue Current)

Berkeley Lab battery scientist Nitash Balsara has worked for many years trying to find a way to improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries. Now he believes he has found the answer in a most unlikely material—a class of compounds that has mainly been used for industrial lubrication.

New Design Tool for Metamaterials

Xiang Zhang  new feature

Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that it is possible to predict the nonlinear optical properties of metamaterials using a recent theory for nonlinear light scattering when light passes through nanostructures.

Rediscovering Spontaneous Light Emission

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

LEDs could replace lasers for short-range optical communications with the use of an optical antenna that enhances the spontaneous emission of light from atoms, molecules and semiconductor quantum dots.

Piezoelectricity in a 2D Semiconductor

Xiang Zhang feature MoS2

Berkeley Lab researchers have opened the door to low-power off/on switches in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and nanoelectronic devices, as well as ultrasensitive bio-sensors, with the first observation of piezoelectricity in a free standing two-dimensional semiconductor.

Making a Good Thing Better: Berkeley Lab Researchers Open a Possible Avenue to Better Electrolyte for Lithium Ion Batteries

X-ray absorption spectra, interpreted using first-principles electronic structure calculations, provide insight into the solvation of the lithium ion in propylene carbonate. (Image courtesy of Rich Saykally, Berkeley)

Berkeley Lab researchers carried out the first X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of a model electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries and may have found a pathway forward to improving LIBs for electric vehicles and large-scale electrical energy storage.

Switching to Spintronics

spintronics

Berkeley Lab researchers used an electric field to reverse the magnetization direction in a multiferroic spintronic device at room temperature, a demonstration that points a new way towards spintronics and smaller, faster and cheaper ways of storing and processing data.